Maxim’s go-green philosophy and organic products make us advocates of health – not just of the environment, but ourselves too. And that’s why, this month, we’ve chosen to honor Harriet Shugarman aka ClimateMama.
Harriet, a previous government and IMF policy analyst, has dedicated her life to educating people about the power we have to alter the Earth’s fate. What caused this? Becoming a mother. All she wanted was to preserve a better Earth for her children.
“Humans are… the dominant forcing agent for our changing climate, with more power then volcanoes or the sun… to change the crash course we are on with our natural world.”
Not only has Harriet trained with The Climate Reality Project, alongside Al Gore, but her work has also appeared in publications like the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, MSNBC, The Global Team of 200 and the Healthy Child Healthy World Network.
She writes, “Scientists tell us that never in the history of our planet, have the pace and rate of changes we have put into action, ever happened before. Extreme weather including floods, drought, powerful hurricanes, dust storms are all part of the climate story. It is easy to be paralyzed by fear and feel the problems are “too big” to get our arms around. But in fact, it is an incredible opportunity and a unique moment in the history of the human race. We can be part of the generation that helped “turn the corner.”
We had a chance to chat with Harriet and we’ve chosen to share some of her most inspiring words.
What are the top three challenges you think we face as a civilization in protecting our environment?
1. Lack of political will.
There is no one “silver bullet” that we have, but rather many, many transformational paths that we need to take.
We need action at every level of government to put policies in place to move us in the right direction. We need brave politicians who can look down the road beyond their political careers and put in place the policies we need to help us build a clean, renewable, sustainable future, starting now.
2. Overcoming climate denialism.
We need to teach our children to “tell the truth.” What we face, particularly in the USA, is denial machinery based on lies and mistruths that leads us to believe that there is no scientific consensus on climate change. This is utterly false.
About 97% of climate scientists tell us climate change is real and now, and caused primarily by human actions like the burning of fossil fuels.
Our lives are “easy” in so many respects. If we need something, we go to the store, buy it or order it on line. Immediate gratification. We eat foods from all over the world, regardless of the season, and we consume and use our natural resources, as if there is “no tomorrow.”
We are using the resources of “5 planets” instead of figuring out how to use, maintain, and sustain the one we have.
What are some of your favorite online resources that people can use to raise awareness, contribute donations to, etc?
What inspired you to devote your life to environmental conservation efforts?
The quick and easy answer is my children, first and foremost. The longer answer revolves around the fact that when I was able to “take the blinders” of and look up, the reality of climate change that was staring me in the face was terrifying. As I learned more and more about how we humans have become the dominate forcing agent for our changing climate, with more power then volcanoes or the sun, I felt that it was now my JOB as a mom, to talk to as many people as I can and help them understand the realities that we face from climate change, so that together we can change the crash course we are on with our natural world. The crisis we face isn’t something that will unfold, “seven generations from now” nor even one. Climate change is real, here and now, and we CAN do something about if we begin to take action now. So, instead of being scared, I am excited by the opportunities that we have to really change the course that humanity is on. It gives me hope, keeps me energized, and allows me to meet so many amazing people along the journey that I am now on.
We hope this post inspired you to make some changes for the benefit of the environment. Let us know what you’re up to in trying to address some of the same issues our Fierce Woman of the Month talked about here.